Zac Johnson is one of the widely respected leaders in the blogging and internet marketing communities. Through his popular blogs, bloggingtips.com and zacjohnson.com, he has helped thousands of readers grow their brands and make money online. A self taught entrepreneur, Zac’s been making money online for over 15 years and has been involved in nearly every facet of internet marketing while also finding great success in the world of blogging. In 2007 Zac launched his first blog at ZacJohnson.com, which is focused on his successes and failures, case studies, industry news and guides on how to make money online. In addition to his own personal experiences, Zac also writes about the latest online marketing trends and informs his readers on how and where they could be creating new revenue online. Zac’s personal blog currently has thousands of daily readers and has referred over $5,000,000 in new business to his advertisers and network partners since launching the blog. In addition to all of the above, I am also serving on the Board of Advisors with Brand.com and also consulting with their team to improve their day to day operations and reach while also managing their blog, social media and news team. Specialties: blogging, ppc, media buying, site production...
You want to convince the reader to investigate their purchase options by the time they finish reading an article, which is why I’ll always include links to all of the products mentioned in a review at the end of the article. That way it’s an easy transition from learning about the product during your review and then at the end it’s time to make a purchase.
I know that we can increase or boost our income with the help of affiliate marketing. We can earn millions and millions dollars by this with the perfect procedure and the best procedure will give you a great business. Focus on the whole process from choosing the best product to received commission. The steps give above is awesome for an affiliate marketer.
Unfortunately I am unable to understand what niche I should select. I have hobbies like swimming and badminton but the competition is too much. I am also interested in toys as a product but I am very confused if it will work for me or not. I was wondering if you could help me select a niche from the above 3 choices so that I get a push and can begin to make a website to earn money online.
Hey Chris – great post. Just a question – We have got about 80 stores affiliated to Amazon Associates. As I understand from your article, it appears that the blog site is a foundation for making a successful Amazon Income. In this regard, we don’t have a blog site but we just have those stores (websites) which have a show case of products. What do you think the strategy would be to drive sales? Of course, we have got Social Media Marketing currently in place.
Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for SiteGround using my affiliate link I will donate a good chunk at no expense to you. This year I donated $3,000 to feed the homeless in Denver. In 2017, I donated $3,000 to American Red Cross at Hurricane Harvey. Your support helps and I genuinely appreciate it. I try to make my reviews unbiased and backed by evidence in the form of Facebook polls, tweets, and real conversations. If you don’t want to use it, here’s a non-affiliate link to SiteGround. Either way I truly believe they’re the best host and that your site will run faster/smoother… do your research on Google and Facebook groups and you’ll find most people say the same.
I also show off some of my live income generating websites inside the course and the more people that see them the more likely it is for those niches to be burned out. So I’d rather charge for access to step by step information and access to live example websites I have up and running that are making money so people can examine them and apply what they’ve learned to other niches.
Affiliate marketing also is a very broad term; under this umbrella there are several different strategies that can be employed to generate affiliate revenue. The most appropriate and lucrative method (or methods) can depend on a number of factors, including your site’s niche and characteristics of your audience. Below is an overview of some of the most popular affiliate marketing implementations, along with examples of each.
MA agrees that any and all warranties made to Client shall be made only by MA. MA acknowledges and agrees that MA will make no representations to its Clients with respect to any warranty made by Company. MA hereby agrees to indemnify and hold Company harmless for any loss, damage, claim or action resulting from MA’s failure to comply with any of MA’s obligations under this Agreement. MA will be solely responsible for any claims, warranties or representations made by MA or MA's representatives or agents, which differ from the warranties, provided by Company in the applicable end user license agreement(s).
I am new to this website and the funny thing is that l was looking for an objective analysis on starting an Amazon affiliate site. Your review on this issue is the BEST that i have ever seen in the last 3 years. This article was a joy to read. It was detailed, honest and very hard hitting especially when you are trying to get readers to understand that they MUST diversify their traffic sources and STOP relying on getting to first page on Google. As a result of reading your article l am changing my digital marketing services, affiliate marketing and , e-commerce strategy. I look forward to hearing new and innovative ideas from you on internet marketing. Keep up the great work!!!
8.1. You are free to promote your own web sites, but naturally any promotion that mentions Merchant.com could be perceived by the public or the press as a joint effort. You should know that certain forms of advertising are always prohibited by Merchant.com. For example, advertising commonly referred to as "spamming" is unacceptable to us and could cause damage to our name. Other generally prohibited forms of advertising include the use of unsolicited commercial email (UCE), postings to non-commercial newsgroups and cross-posting to multiple newsgroups at once. In addition, you may not advertise in any way that effectively conceals or misrepresents your identity, your domain name, or your return email address. You may use mailings to customers to promote Merchant.com so long as the recipient is already a customer or subscriber of your services or web site, and recipients have the option to remove themselves from future mailings. Also, you may post to newsgroups to promote Merchant.com so long as the news group specifically welcomes commercial messages. At all times, you must clearly represent yourself and your web sites as independent from Merchant.com. If it comes to our attention that you are spamming, we will consider that cause for immediate termination of this Agreement and your participation in the Merchant.com Affiliate Program. Any pending balances owed to you will not be paid if your account is terminated due to such unacceptable advertising or solicitation.
(b) during a single session, which is measured as beginning when a customer clicks through that Special Link and ending upon the first to occur of the following: (x) 24 hours elapse from that click, (y) the customer places an order for a Product, other than a digital item sold under the name “Amazon Music,” “Amazon Shorts”, “eDocs”, “Amazon Prime Video”, “Amazon Software Downloads”, “Game Downloads”, “Kindle Books”, “Kindle Newspapers”, “Kindle Blogs”, “Kindle Newsfeeds”, or “Kindle Magazines” (a “Digital Product”), or (z) the customer clicks through a Special Link to an Amazon Site that is not your Special Link (a “Session”), any of the following happens:
Just an FYI, it’s better to avoid phrases like “Get a great deal on Crest Whitestrips’ or any other qualifiers regarding the quality of the deal or price. You cannot guarantee that the deal is actually “great”, and Amazon is known to be picky about these things and treating them as misrepresentations of their brand / dishonest marketing. It’s best to keep calls to action neutral, things like “check price” or “see current price” etc.

Affiliate Program Limits. Each accepted Affiliate Lead will expire according to the information provided on the Program Policies Page. from the date the Affiliate Lead clicked on the Affiliate Link that was made available by you. We will pay you Commission for each new Customer who completes a Customer Transaction after clicking on an Affiliate Lead made available by you, provided that you remain eligible to receive Commission pursuant to the terms of this Agreement.  The start of the Customer’s subscription is determined by the date of the first purchase of the Subscription Service by the Customer and you will receive a Commission payment for that Customer Transaction only, regardless of any additional purchases made by that customer during their Subscription Service. For example, if the initial Customer Transaction is for one user of Sales Hub Professional, and there is a subsequent transaction by that same customer for an additional user of Sales Hub Professional for the same subscription, Affiliate will receive Commission for the initial user purchased only. The Affiliate will not be entitled to receive Commission on any additional purchases of HubSpot Products by that same Customer


You will not be eligible to receive any Standard Program Fees or Special Program Fees for any month if we determine that your Site is primarily promoting free Kindle eBooks and during that month (i) 20,000 or more free Kindle eBooks are ordered and downloaded during Sessions attributed to your Special Links, and (ii) at least 80% of all Kindle eBooks ordered and downloaded during Sessions attributed to your Special Links are free Kindle eBooks.
This could leave many once competitive niches with a lot more gaps for you to build and leverage into with your niche sites. While we don’t believe we’ll see a mass exodus from Amazon Associates (Even with the currently grumbling about the changes online), some niches may be more affected by this than others so it may pay to look for gaps in the market.
The Program Operator does not tolerate the sending of unsolicited bulk emails (UCE or SPAM) which promote, or make reference to the Program Operator, or any of their associated companies or websites, Partners, or employees, the websites, products or services. The provisions of the Terms and Conditions pertaining to UCE or SPAM shall apply to each affiliate. Any affiliate who, in the opinion of the Program Operator, breaches this rule will have their affiliate status canceled and any outstanding commissions will be forfeited.

This Agreement may be terminated by either party at the expiration of its term or any renewal term upon thirty (30) days written notice to the other party. Company acknowledges that this Agreement shall not be terminated for MA’s failure to follow an operating plan, standard procedure, training manual, or substantial equivalent published in Paragraph 3 (k) of this Agreement, except that Company does reserve the right to terminate this Agreement for MA’s failure to follow required procedures relating to the processing of sales contracts, invoices and billing related to Technology sold under this Agreement.


Many publishers present affiliate links in the same way others would run display ads on their site. Below is a screenshot from SugarRae.com, a popular affiliate marketing blog. Notice that the right rail is labeled as “Advertisement” and includes two ads (one for Raven and the other for Genesis). These look like banner ads, but they’re actually affiliate links–in the form of an image, not text. To most viewers, there’s very little distinction between a banner ad and an affiliate link here, but the compensation structure of course matters to the affiliate and the publisher.

If you are accepted to participate in the Affiliate Program, then upon notification of acceptance, the terms and conditions of this Agreement shall apply in full force and effect, until terminated, pursuant to the terms set forth below.  Further, you will need to complete any enrollment criteria set out in the Program Policies Page, if applicable. Failure to complete any enrollment criteria within thirty (30) days of your acceptance will result in the immediate termination of this Agreement and you will no longer be able to participate in the Affiliate Program.
You should also have tracking setup for every affiliate link of yours. You can do this with something like Voluum that can track the sales you are getting and where those sales are coming from. This will be useful data for an analytical buyer who wants to split test the website, not to mention it will allow you to split test the site and possibly push your monthly net profit up which will also increase your site’s listing multiple price.
Thanks for your point for point description of what has worked for you. You have certainly given credibility to testing your results. Doing the technical aspect of setting the structured sites and e-mail marketing has been challenging for me. You have clearly described how the more sales you make your percentage goes up and you make more money. Apparently there are tested formulas that work for Amazon sales and getting people to Amazon sounds like a winner. 

Blogging is the most obvious type of website that fits into the affiliate based business model because it lends itself so naturally to the process. When you consistently write articles on a blog, your opinion becomes respected over time as your audience sees you making good recommendations. If someone recommends something to you, and it turns out to be a really good thing, your respect for that person’s opinion is naturally going to be elevated. Blogging about a new product, book or service is a perfect because it allows you to explain in depth about the product, the benefits and how it helped you or improved your life.

So, with that being said, you can see how the top Amazon affiliates make their “big bucks.” They utilize every tool available to them so they can automate their business so they can concentrate on other aspects of their business. That's how Amazon affiliates make huge payouts on Amazon. Being able to maintain consistent visitors that turn into long term buying prospects because you are able to keep the products fresh everyday through automation.


How can affiliates fight back?. A world world Amazon affiliate strike where we all take our sites offline for a couple days so Amazon can feel the financial sting. Well there’s 2 options for me. Double my workload again to make it back to the point it is in Feb 2017 by late 2018. Or move onto something else. Finding amazon substitutes is not going to happen when one promotes 100’s of products in various niches.

The Program Operator requires your primary email address be listed in your affiliate Profile. Affiliates will not be able to use the website or participate in the affiliate program until their email addresses are verified. Those who fail to verify their email address or use an email address that generates an error response consistently (e.g., “User is over quota” or “Mailbox full”) will forfeit any commissions due and this contract will be terminated immediately. You may not use an email address with an auto responder as your Program Operator email address. When you visit the Program Operator’s websites or send emails to, you are communicating electronically. You consent to receive communications from the Program Operator electronically. The Program Operator will communicate with you by email or by posting notices on this site. You agree that all agreements, notices, disclosures and other communications that the Program Operator provides to you electronically satisfy any legal requirement that such communications be in writing. If you are an  affiliate, you understand that you may NOT opt out of any emails that you receive from the Program Operator. As an affiliate, you must continually have a valid email account on file with the Program Operator or we reserve the right to terminate your participation immediately, without any refund of any license fees paid or payment of any commission due.


But big brands began to become enlightened in the mid-2000s. They started to invest more and more budget into online marketing initiatives, while Google slowly moved to favoring them in the search results. Blogs were undergoing a metamorphosis — evolving from glorified online diaries to significant sources of valuable content with increasingly large readerships.
Be transparent and create your story. What did you suffer through? Are you a reluctant leader or are you the hero leading the charge? Ensure you properly relay your story so that you can bridge the emotional bond between people who have no idea about who you are. Why should they listen to you? What "secrets" have you uncovered over the years? What failures did you suffer through or lessons did you learn along your journey?
7.1 GenealogyBank.com Affiliate program pays commissions for each qualified subscription Net Sale (As defined under Section 7.2 below). A qualified sale consists of the first month of a monthly subscription or the first annual subscription. If an introductory offer is in place, commissions will be paid on both the introductory offer as well as the first of any resulting monthly subscription or annual subscription. If no monthly or annual subscription results from the introductory offer, commissions will only be paid on the introductory offer.
You should put that you’re a participant of Amazon’s affiliate program somewhere on your website. But do people know when they’re clicking a link if it’s an affiliate link or not? Depends on if they look at the entire URL string or if you tell them. Frankly I think as long as you’re providing value for the reader and as long as you put the Amazon disclosure in your blog post then that is good.
I was following someone else’s guide and they said you should have a static front page, but I feel like I would be getting more views and more clicks if I had the opposite ie; my latest blogs on the homepage. I also checked my stats and when I link to an article/review people stay longer. When I link to the home page they don’t stay as long AND a higher bounce rate. My bounce rate for the homepage is literally 3,000 in the past month. They hit that homepage and stay for around 7 minutes which means most are probably reading the static page, but then they just… leave.
Excellent article Chris! This will help me out a lot. I am a new author through amazon and my book is also being sold through KDP Select (The kindle option worldwide) but regardless of my advertising on my Facebook page, which cost money, I do not seem to be getting anywhere. With Amazon Associates, is it totally free and no cost to you or do you pay a fee over a certain amount of time. Also if you have any tips on how to get a book out there that would be excellent. My book is being sold at Books a Million, Barnes and Noble, and Alibris. I plan on doing a book signing at Barnes and Noble in hopes it will raise awareness of my book.
Set up a website. Professional or business websites can also use the Affiliate program. However, they are best used with people who do not sell similar products on their website, since Amazon's marketplace can drive business away. If you have a website promoting different products, a club, a non-profit or a service, then you can recommend quality products on your site and make money doing it.
This is important in the framework of not just affiliate marketing, but in marketing anything online, especially when the products are your own products and you're not just receiving a commission for selling them. Clearly, you need to build emotion around the entire process. In another words, you need to create an emotional attachment to every stage of the sales funnel.
I know that we can increase or boost our income with the help of affiliate marketing. We can earn millions and millions dollars by this with the perfect procedure and the best procedure will give you a great business. Focus on the whole process from choosing the best product to received commission. The steps give above is awesome for an affiliate marketer.
You buy these sites for cheaper than what they would had been a month ago, replace the links with links to your physical product, and revamp the sites to become email collecting machines that can be used to launch any new product you create – not to mention bringing back old customers to either your Amazon FBA listings or to the affiliate site for more potential sales and engagement.
Product review sites are another popular vehicle for affiliate marketing strategies. Because these sites are inherently focused on providing information about products in which visitors are likely interested, the affiliate tie-in is pretty straightforward. The author writes about a product, highlighting the features and addressing any concerns, and then includes a link where readers can go to purchase the product.
Thanks for posting these great tips. I am pondering getting into affiliate marketing. I survived a major stage 4 metastatic cancer but my finances, savings, career and credit were the sacrificial lambs on the alter of survival. I say pondering because I hear of so many starting out with ten tons of optimism and drive, only to end up bankrupt and on a long term Zoloft prescription. Are there simply too many online marketers out there or is it still possible to start from scratch and ramp up a descent business that stands out of the hay stacks? By descent, I mean enough to make a full time living, not worrying about food & shelter. How much time from zero to $4,000.00 per month (salary and/or net… spendable personal funds)

In 2009, I originally published this post, the 3 Types of Affiliate Marketing Explained—and The One I Profit From. A lot has changed since then, and I’ve learned a ton along the way about affiliate marketing the right way. It’s now October 2018, and I wanted to share those new insights here, with a bunch of new takeaways for you to bring affiliate marketing into your own business!

Your company is ultimately responsible for what others do on your behalf. You should make sure your public relations firm has an appropriate program in place to train and monitor members of its social media network. Ask for regular reports confirming that the program is operating properly and monitor the network periodically. Delegating part of your promotional program to an outside entity doesn’t relieve you of responsibility under the FTC Act.

(e) disclosing on your Site accurately and adequately, either through a privacy policy or otherwise, how you collect, use, store, and disclose data collected from visitors, including, where applicable, that third parties (including us and other advertisers) may serve content and advertisements, collect information directly from visitors, and place or recognize cookies on visitors’ browsers, and providing information on the visitor’s choices with respect to opting-out from online advertising where required by applicable law, and
Company will undertake all reasonable efforts to provide technical assistance to MA under this Agreement when MA is unable to resolve certain technical issues and to rectify or provide solutions to problems where the Technology does not function as described in the Technology documentation, but Company does not guarantee that the problems will be solved or that any item will be error-free. This product support commitment is only applicable to Company’s Technology running under the certified environments specified in the release notes of the end user licensing agreement for that Technology or Package. Company may from time to time, however, discontinue Technology or versions and stop supporting Technology or versions one year after discontinuance, or otherwise discontinue any support service. Company is not liable for incidental, special or consequential damages for any reason (including loss of data or other business or property damage), even if foreseeable or if MA or Customer has advised of such a claim. Company's liability shall not exceed the fees that MA has paid under this Agreement. MA agrees that the pricing for the services would be substantially higher but for these limitations.

Music may perform better than books and other products, mainly because you can listen to the clips of an entire album in roughly 10 minutes and get a good enough feel for it without buying it to write a short review. If you have another topic that you're passionate about, great, but make sure you have a unique angle on the topic. People can get reviews about a lot of those consumer products anywhere. You need to give them a reason to visit your site.
8.1. You represent and warrant that (a) you have the authority to enter into this Agreement and sufficient rights to grant any licenses expressed herein, and (b) any material displayed on your Site will not: (i) infringe on any third party's copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other proprietary rights or right of publicity or privacy; (ii) violate any applicable law, statute, ordinance or regulation; (iii) be defamatory or libelous; (iv) be lewd, pornographic or obscene; (v) violate any laws regarding unfair competition, anti-discrimination or false advertising; (vi) promote violence or contain hate speech; (vii) promote discrimination based on race, age, sex, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or disability; (viii) contain viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, cancelbots or other similar harmful or deleterious programming routines' or (ix) otherwise constitutes an "unsuitable Site" as determined by Brian Tracy in accordance with the terms outlined in the Section 1 above titled "Participation in the Program."
11.12. Modifications. We may modify any of the terms and conditions contained in this Agreement, at any time and in our sole discretion, by posting a change notice or a new agreement on the BTI Affiliate Partner Site and giving you notice of the modification through InfusionSoft. Modifications may include, for example, changes in the scope of available referral fees, referral fee schedules, payment procedures, and Program rules.
8.4. Affiliate shall not transmit any so-called “interstitials,” “Parasiteware™,” “Parasitic Marketing,” “Shopping Assistance Application,” “Toolbar Installations and/or Add-ons,” “Shopping Wallets” or “deceptive pop-ups and/or pop-unders” to consumers from the time the consumer clicks on a qualifying link until such time as the consumer has fully exited Merchant’s site (i.e., no page from our site or any Merchant.com’s content or branding is visible on the end-user’s screen). As used herein a. “Parasiteware™” and “Parasitic Marketing” shall mean an application that (a) through accidental or direct intent causes the overwriting of affiliate and non affiliate commission tracking cookies through any other means than a customer initiated click on a qualifying link on a web page or email; (b) intercepts searches to redirect traffic through an installed software, thereby causing, pop ups, commission tracking cookies to be put in place or other commission tracking cookies to be overwritten where a user would under normal circumstances have arrived at the same destination through the results given by the search (search engines being, but not limited to, Google, MSN, Yahoo, Overture, AltaVista, Hotbot and similar search or directory engines); (c) set commission tracking cookies through loading of Merchant site in IFrames, hidden links and automatic pop ups that open Merchant.com’s site; (d) targets text on web sites, other than those web sites 100% owned by the application owner, for the purpose of contextual marketing; (e) removes, replaces or blocks the visibility of Affiliate banners with any other banners, other than those that are on web sites 100% owned by the owner of the application.
It depends on whether his followers understand that he’s being paid to endorse that product. If they know he’s a paid endorser, no disclosure is needed. But if a significant portion of his followers don’t know that, the relationship should be disclosed. Determining whether followers are aware of a relationship could be tricky in many cases, so we recommend disclosure.
Viglink – This is an affiliate marketing plugin that’s associated with my Viglink Account (Here’s my experience with Viglink). If anyone clicks on a product on my website, Viglink will track this and I get a commission if they buy something. You can use Amazon Associates for your Affiliate Marketing, but I like Viglink because it has partnerships with 2,000 different stores including Amazon. Viglink is how I plan to make money with my new Amazon Affiliate Website. Here is my personal affiliate link if you want to learn more about Viglink and how it works.
You further represent and warrant that: (i) you will ensure that you are compliant with any trade or regulatory requirements that may apply to your participation in the Affiliate Program (for example, by clearly stating you are a HubSpot Affiliate on any website(s) you own where you make an Affiliate Link available); (ii) you will accurately provide in the Affiliate Tool all websites and domains you own where you intend to use Affiliate Links to generate Affiliate Leads; (iii) you will not purchase ads that direct to your site(s) or through an Affiliate Link that could be considered as competing with HubSpot’s own advertising, including, but not limited to, our branded keywords; (iv) you will not participate in cookie stuffing or pop-ups, false or misleading links are strictly prohibited; (v) you will not attempt to mask the referring URL information; (vi) you will not use your own Affiliate Link to purchase HubSpot products for yourself.
Passive income must be one of most over used and abused words in the modern day digital dictionary, but the fact of the matter remains that it does work and do wonders to the people who carefully invest their time and build a business around growing their income passively. In another one of our articles, we talked about the 9 Best Affiliate Marketing Courses to help you generate a regular income and today our focus is on Best Amazon Affiliate Marketing Courses for 2018 to help you build affiliate sites and e commerce stores that will help you sell and earn.
Affiliates discussed the issues in Internet forums and began to organize their efforts. They believed that the best way to address the problem was to discourage merchants from advertising via adware. Merchants that were either indifferent to or supportive of adware were exposed by affiliates, thus damaging those merchants' reputations and tarnishing their affiliate marketing efforts. Many affiliates either terminated the use of such merchants or switched to a competitor's affiliate program. Eventually, affiliate networks were also forced by merchants and affiliates to take a stand and ban certain adware publishers from their network. The result was Code of Conduct by Commission Junction/beFree and Performics,[31] LinkShare's Anti-Predatory Advertising Addendum,[32] and ShareASale's complete ban of software applications as a medium for affiliates to promote advertiser offers.[33] Regardless of the progress made, adware continues to be an issue, as demonstrated by the class action lawsuit against ValueClick and its daughter company Commission Junction filed on April 20, 2007.[34]
As used herein, “Confidential Information” means all confidential information disclosed by a party ("Disclosing Party") to the other party (“Receiving Party”), (i) whether orally or in writing, that is designated as confidential, and (ii) HubSpot customer and prospect information, whether or not otherwise designated as confidential. Confidential Information does not include any information that (i) is or becomes generally known to the public without breach of any obligation owed to the Disclosing Party or (ii) was known to the Receiving Party prior to its disclosure by the Disclosing Party without breach of any obligation owed to the Disclosing Party.  The Receiving Party shall: (i) protect the confidentiality of the Confidential Information of the Disclosing Party using the same degree of care that it uses with its own confidential information, but in no event less than reasonable care, (ii) not use any Confidential Information of the Disclosing Party for any purpose outside the scope of this Agreement, (iii) not disclose Confidential Information of the Disclosing Party to any third party, and (iv) limit access to Confidential Information of the Disclosing Party to its employees, contractors and agents. The Receiving Party may disclose Confidential Information of the Disclosing Party if required to do so under any federal, state, or local law, statute, rule or regulation, subpoena or legal process.
Nowhere is that truer than in the online business world. Right now, it is happening with Amazon announcing a March 1st site-wide rollout of commission structure change for their affiliates (they have officially announced this change here). The way the commission structure used to work was that affiliates earned a percentage on a sliding scale based on the volume of products they sell, capping at 8.5% as the highest tier.
The people that you refer too did not master amazon, they merely mastered the value they offer to visitors. If you are able to engage/connect with visitors, then you got a winner, some people merely have better skills then others, which may include offering high value content, coding/custom skills. Do you agree that these people brought something to the table? If they did not, then visitors would not continue to visit their sites, right? You can put up all the content in the world, you can get all the backlinks you want, but if you can not engage/connect with your visitors, then all is lost. These site most likely did not start off with custom sites; they started off just like everyone else, some rag/tag site. I ran across an affiliate site a few months ago, and the content on his site would just blow your mind, and let me tell you,this guy had affiliate links from all major affiliate networks, his site has so much authority that he is listed right up under amazon, and some actual product manufacturers; how did he do this? He brought solutions, and value to his visitors, he knew what they were looking for, and knows how to engage, and connect with them. If you can not figure out how to blow your visitors mind, then what do you really have to offer? His avg reviews were between 7k-10k words? how about you? 500-1000 words? at the end of the day, which site will google find more impressive, yours, or his, and i assure you, he had far more affiliate links on his site then you have on yours as you could not skip-a-paragraph without seeing affiliate links.
MA recognizes that the Technology in source form (code or listing) is the exclusive property of Company and/or its Affiliates and is proprietary to and the trade secret of Company and/or its Affiliates. MA agrees that it shall not, by itself or in association with any other party, reproduce, duplicate, copy, decompile, disassemble or reverse engineer the Technology in source form (code or listing) in any media. 

This is like a free graduate level college course every month available just for the reading. And unlike most college professors, these guys and gals are actually earning in the real world. Michelle made well over a million USD last year from mainly affiliate programs,AFTER she paid her running expenses and US taxes. She sure didn't do it by reviewing bicycle pedals 😉
Also, you have to plan for the long term. Affiliate marketing is not a quick scheme for getting rich. This type of business model will not make you a lot of money at the beginning. It takes time to build up an audience, but your income does grow over time. So, you'll have to plan a way to support yourself until your affiliate marketing business grows to make enough income to support you.
I guess the only thing I’d say about this is if you are blogging in a competitive niche and working in what I’d call the “gray area” of link masking and not using “nofollow” as described here by google (https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/96569?hl=en) expect that competitors that are writing real reviews with real photos (not stuff grabbed from a manufacturers website) are going to report you to google as webspam. The thing I hate most is affiliate sites that have never held a product in their hand and then try to pass off something as a first person review for the sole sake of pushing you to Amazon.com.
Warren Davies has been writing since 2007, focusing on bespoke projects for online clients such as PsyT and The Institute of Coaching. This has been alongside work in research, web design and blogging. A Linux user and gamer, warren trains in martial arts as a hobby. He has a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in psychology, and further qualifications in statistics and business studies.
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